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J. Mel O’Rourke Collection

 Unprocessed — Multiple Containers
Identifier: H2009-084

Content Description

The collection consists of a memoir, correspondence, and photographs relating to the O’Rourke Family of Perkins County from 1908 to the 1920s. The memoir was written by J. Mel O’Rourke and his early life near Strool, SD in Perkins County. The memoir includes the O’Rourke family and their move to Perkins County in 1908 when Mel was ten. The memoir covers the history of homesteading in north western South Dakota. Topics include a young boy’s life on the prairie, education, religion, social gatherings, life in a sod house, and various examples of seasonal farm work, drought, storms, and prairie fires, along with a number of family and Strool stories. The O’Rourke’s left Perkins County in the 1920s. The collection also includes photographs of the O’Rourke Family in Perkins County, World War I era images, students at Thrall Academy in Sorum, images of Mel as coach in Chamberlain, and photos in and around Strool. This is an accretion to collection H2008-021

Acquisition Type


Restrictions Apply



  • ca. 1908-1920s


0.1 Cubic Feet


3774C: Folder 1: J. Mel O’Rourke, original handwritten memoir Folder 2: Photographs of Edward J. O’Rourke, father of J. Mel O’Rourke Folder 3: Photographs of O’Rourke’s in Perkins County 1908-1910s Folder 4: Photograph’s 1910s/1920s – World War I, Mel as coach and teachers Basketball, Track, Chamberlain, Iroquois Folder 5: Correspondence: School, Diploma, References Folder 6: Thrall Academy – Sorum, SD FB 418 Photo Album – Thrall Academy – Sorum, SD, ca. 1915-1917